All posts tagged: By Rachael Ritchey

Fulfilling Traditions by Rachael Ritchey

When I was a kid, we moved far from my big extended family with whom we celebrated Christmas every year. From then on, it was always just the four of us. That wasn’t so bad, and we had traditions we continued, like decorating the tree after Thanksgiving, eating turkey, marking the advent calendar, and devouring the yummiest green Jell-O in the world. Growing up, I loved participating in these things, but the holidays look different for each of us. Some of us don’t like the idea of doing something just because it’s always been done, but traditions don’t need to be rote or boring. Traditions are beliefs, customs, and actions passed down from generation to generation. As believers, we have a unique and special opportunity to not only teach the next generation the reason for our joy, but we get to remind ourselves and each other what we’ve been given. Jonathan Edwards once said, “The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied.” Traditions we have with our families …

Mad Mona, Monarch of Madonia’s Christmas Surprise By Rachael Ritchey

I know better than to answer my phone after nine at night, and on Christmas Eve to boot. I really don’t know what came over me … except as I think on it, I doubt my not answering would have stopped Her Majesty from knocking my door down. It’s not as though anyone else would follow her on one of her hair-brained schemes. Learning to skateboard and royal spaghetti-eating contests in neighboring Pastarea aside, she’s not always a loon, but Queen Mona isn’t lovingly referred to as Mad Mona, Her Majesty of Madonia for nothing. At least I’m not wearing a ridiculous red-checked tablecloth as a cape this time. Still …. “Doyle!” Her Majesty waves me over with a wild sweep of her plump arm, the roundness of the limb enhanced by the down-filled coat I insisted she wear on this winter excursion that is quite against my better judgment. “Doyle! Stop lolly-gagging, you overzealous buffoon.” “Of course, Your Majesty.” I approach her and take the hand she extends to me. Between myself and the …